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4:35 AM ET, January 28, 2018

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
New York Times:
How Devumi uses its 3.5M+ automated Twitter accounts, sometimes based on stolen social identities, to sell followers and retweets to 200K+ customers  —  Everyone wants to be popular online.  —  Some even pay for it.  —  Inside social media's black market.
HuffPost:
LA Times staffers fear that a secretive new management team appears to be quietly building a non-union shadow national newsroom  —  A mysterious new management team appears to be quietly building a non-union network.  —  As lunch was winding down Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times cafeteria …
RELATED:
Ken Doctor / Nieman Lab:
Tronc refuses to answer staff questions about Los Angeles Times Network LLC, its new content creation, distribution, and syndication entity and associated hires  —  And why is the Tronc newspaper treating its own newsroom as a group not to be trusted?  —  All of the furor consuming …
Nick Fernandez / Media Matters for America:
In June 2017, Hannity and guests called on Robert Mueller to resign, recuse himself, or be fired 39 times, claimed Mueller had a conflict of interest 102 times  —  The New York Times reported that in June 2017, President Donald Trump ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.
Jan Wolfe / Reuters:
New Copyright Royalty Board ruling requires streaming services to give 15.1%, up from 10.5%, of revenue to songwriters and music publishers over next five years  —  (Reuters) - U.S. copyright authorities on Saturday decided to increase over the next five years the royalty payments music streaming companies …
Richard Deitsch / Sports Illustrated:
Jemele Hill, the ESPN anchor called out by Trump in a tweet after she called him a white supremacist, is leaving SportsCenter to join The Undefeated  —  ESPN's SportsCenter will need a new co-host as Jemele Hill is expected to leave the show for a position with The Undefeated.
Pete Vernon / Columbia Journalism Review:
Fox News' dismissal of New York Times' scoop on Trump's attempt to fire Mueller illustrates the growing distance between Fox and the rest of the media  —  For a moment last night, the winter chill was replaced with memories of May.  The New York Times's was responsible for the time warp …
Discussion: The Independent, Politico and @jray05
Jason Rezaian / Washington Post:
Germany reportedly may allow Turkey to make previously banned arms deal in exchange for release of journalist Deniz Yucel, imprisoned in Turkey for 11 months  —  Along with increased pressure and threats from unfriendly governments, journalists in some parts of the world face the prospect of becoming bargaining chips.
Discussion: @boothwilliam and Spiegel Online
Ricardo Bilton / Nieman Lab:
NBC News is using an off-site, 12-person experimental video unit, Left Field, to work on new storytelling forms like VR in an effort to attract younger viewers  —  “We know a great deal about how to make linear television and we've been doing it a very long time, but there is a generation …
Discussion: @springer and @niemanlab
Mathew Ingram / Columbia Journalism Review:
Interview with BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti, on Facebook's News Feed changes and lack of revenue sharing, BuzzFeed's revenue miss in 2017, and more  —  Photo courtesy BuzzFeed.  —  BuzzFeed co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti is the kind of guy who never sees the cloud, only the silver lining, no matter how dark things get.
Shan Wang / Nieman Lab:
European Data Journalism Network has 15 partners who produce data-driven stories translated into six languages and distributed free to partner, non-partner orgs  —  Data-driven news stories produced by members of the European Data Journalism Network are translated into English, French …
 
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 More News: 
Facebook Media:
Facebook launches Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship, gives four organizations focused on diversity in journalism $250K each, to offer student scholarships
Alexandria Neason / Columbia Journalism Review:
Emails show Texas Monthly had a deal with Bumble, for app to pay for social media promotion of Texas Monthly cover story featuring Bumble's founder
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook will allow fans of game streamers to tip creators a minimum of $3 as part of its new gaming creator pilot program
Lucinda Southern / Digiday:
Bloomberg says its Twitter video channel, TicToc, now has 750K daily viewers, 1M daily views, and 119K followers, with half of the audience outside the US
 Earlier Picks: 
Reuters:
China's Bytedance partners with BuzzFeed to distribute its content on Toutiao, though how Toutiao will select content not subject to censorship is unclear
Discussion: Bloomberg, Sixth Tone and Quartz
Scott Hilton / Walmart:
Walmart to start selling ebooks, audiobooks, and ereaders powered by Rakuten's digital book arm, Kobo, as part of Walmart-Rakuten alliance
Reuters:
Sources: Chinese live-video streaming startup Kuaishou is close to raising $1B led by Tencent at an ~$18B valuation and plans to IPO in the second half of 2018
Reuters:
Sources: Viacom CEO Bob Bakish and CBS CEO Leslie Moonves held “exploratory” discussion on merging companies; boards expected to discuss merger in coming weeks